Metro Diaries - The Last Kiss (Final Part)
As he was about to talk to Jumainaa young girl entered the hall. “This is Preeti.” Kamalatai introduced here. After Kamalatai, Jumaina or Jumainappa as everyone else called her, was the oldest. She was reed thin with eyes that were bulging out. Her skin was brackish as if burnt by accident and her smile was hollow. She was a beauty once upon a time and a mysterious illness had rendered her like this. She had a miscarriage after which she was never same again. As of now she took care of these girls, cooked, mopped the floors and cleaned the house. She was also the go-to person for any medical advises.
“Come…” Jumainaapa called out to Preeti. She was encouraged by others to share her tale. Strangely enough she kept mum. Sushma started filling in for her,” She is new you see. Just 7 weeks so….” It must be harrowing for her, was all that came to Rahul’s mind. However much she was nudged she simply refused to talk, when Rahul decided to change the question. “Each one of them has shared some quirks pertaining to their customers. Do you remember any such strange incident that you might want to share?” All eyes and ears were on her now. They were waiting with bated breath for her to say something for quite some time when she finally whispered,” I don’t allow anyone to kiss my lips.” Now this was new, every body’s ears perked up on listening to this.
“Well that is umm….different.” Rahul hesitated as he tried finding the right word to be used. “Why do you do that?”
“Whenever Mohan kissed me he used to ask me, ‘Promise me these lips are solely mine.’ And I would quietly whisper, ’Promise… only yours!’ I am just keeping my promise, though he broke his.”
Preeti said this and left the hall. All kept staring at her for long before Jumainaapa broke the silence, “Mohan was her husband, the one who brought her here. “ Rahul was stupefied. With a lot of effort he managed to thank them all and make a hasty exit stating that he had collected all that needed. He didn’t even have the courage to wait for the tea Kamalatai had called for.
While walking down that same dingy lane, Rahul had a strange feeling building up inside him. He had witnessed the truest form of love today and that too at a place when people least expected it. His whole life he kept on looking for the real meaning of love in books, saints and songs but none could define it for him the way Preeti did. Love was worth it all! He decided as he boarded his train with a huge grin on his face.